Ukrainian govt forces retreating to Mariupol, bracing for defensive warfare - militia

The Ukrainian government forces are retreating to Mariupol, bracing for defensive warfare, and reinforcing roadblocks at the entrances to the city, a source with the militia groups opposing the government forces told Interfax on Thursday.

The Ukrainian government forces are retreating to Mariupol, bracing for defensive warfare, and reinforcing roadblocks at the entrances to the city, a source with the militia groups opposing the government forces told Interfax on Thursday.

The self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) forces took a number of strongholds near Novoazovsk under control in the early hours of Thursday, he said.

The militia headquarters reported that "militia forces have seized roadblocks and strongholds in the northern and eastern parts of the city and a bridge across the River Hruzky Yelanchyk."

"Over 130 Ukrainian military servicemen were taken captive amid fierce fighting overnight," and more than 10 armored vehicles were destroyed, it said.

Military activities are currently continuing near the communities of Olenivka, Starobesheve, and Novoazovsk, it said.

The Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council (NSDC) admitted later on Thursday that the Ukrainian armed forces had lost control of Novoazovsk, as the militia's offensive was under way.

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